Ich Kool Chan Luuch-Coco

Coconut waste has a similar effect to single use plastic as the husk and shell takes more than a decade to decompose. It not only contributes to air pollution when it is burnt, but clogs drains during rainy season and is also a creates a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes that transmit deadly diseases such as Dengue. Ich Kool Chan Luuch-Coco uses not only the coconut shell and husk,but also use gourds that come after the Calabash fruit is carved out, leaving the shell which is hung in the sun to dry. The resulting vessel is known as Luuch in the Yucatec Maya language. Both the coconut and the Luuch creates a by-product for creating natural object handicrafts for both utility and decorative purposes. Ich Kool Chan Luuch-Coco will be equipping the at risk youth communities with luuch-coconut crafting skills in the form of workshops. These workshops will promote environment friendly livelihood activities, which will serve at risk youth communities’ with an alternate livelihood.
Name
Yahaira
Last name
Vega
At what stage is your proposal?
Design (Prototype/MVP in development)
What category/categories do you want to address with your idea?
Employment
Describe the need or problem you want to address
Ich Kool Chan Luuch-Coco has organized a luuch and coconut shell hand craft workshop to provide training to at risk youth communities in the country of Belize where there are high rates of unemployment, poverty and crime. The purpose of the workshop sessions is to raise awareness on sustainable and environmentally friendly livelihood options, through craft based activities and products in Belize. The workshop sessions will not only focus on teaching a handicraft but will also equip and empower youths with necessary skills and training in entrepreneurship, small business management and basic book keeping through partnership with other training institutions such as Beltraide, Department of Youth Services (DYS)and the Small Business Development Center (SBDCBelize). Through this workshop at risk youths from all parts and walks of Belize will not only learn to make hand crafted natural object items to improve their family’s life but will also contribute to caring for the planet in doing so. With the crafts that are created during the workshop we will encourage them to freely donate some of their art work for sale so that the workshop may have continuity and be sustainable and that other at risk youths can also benefit from the workshop opportunities. This pay it forward attitude will not only help the program to be sustainable but will increase the number of beneficiaries and assist to expand the impact of the project. The donated crafted end products from participants will be labelled with the name of the project title so that consumers will be aware that by purchasing a handicraft from Ich Kool Chan Luuch-Coco they will be assisting to prolong the life of the workshop so it can be done in various communities and have a greater impact.
What is the main product or service you will offer?
Ich Kool Chan Luuch-Coco will offer training/ workshop sessions which will focus on creating socio-economic and environment interdependence within and among at risk youth communities in the country of Belize. The workshop sessions will allow at risk youth communities to use skills and techniques learnt to create usable products such as custom jewelry, kitchen utensils, home decorations, picture frames, accessories, ornaments and much more using Luuch, coconut shell and coconut husk, which is usually considered environmental waste. This will give at the risk youth beneficiaries an opportunity to become entrepreneurs who create and offer a variation of unique natural object handicrafts that will also portray an important aspect of cultural heritage to show the unique features and symbols of Belizes cultural identity. We also plan to partner with different entities such as the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), Beltraide, Small Business Development Center (SBDCBelize), the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC) and Department of Youth Services (DYS) to also assist to equip and train the workshop participants in entrepreneurship skills, small business management and basic book keeping. With these necessary skills and training; participants will be able to make and sell their products and gain a viable way of improving their livelihood by earning supplemental income to help themselves and their family.
Briefly describe the community or population that will benefit from your solution and how do you plan to involve them in the project
Young people under the age of 30 years make up over 60% of the populations in developing countries and Belize is no exception. Their needs however; are being insufficiently addressed or resourced. Therefore nationally,attention has increasingly focused on issues such as youth crime and violence, substance abuse, gangs, school dropouts,poor academic performance, and other issues associated with “at risk youth.” The demographic importance of our impoverished, unemployed and early school leavers are insufficiently acknowledged which makes the transition from youth to adulthood very difficult; socially, psychologically and financially. Young people become at risk youth because they are increasingly unable to attain the social and economic status of adulthood because of structural exclusion and lack of positive opportunities. The targeted beneficiaries for this handicraft workshop therefore not only include the socially disadvantaged, but also the unemployed and underemployed in at risk youth communities in Belize. In order for Ich Kool Chan Luuch-Coco to provide the much needed opportunities to the adequate population; we will liaise and seek collaboration from different (youth or population focused) institutions to aid in identifying communities and/or groups of at risk youths who can benefit from our Luuch-Coconut workshop sessions. These institutions include the Statistics Institute of Belize (SIB), Department of Youth Services (DYS), Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC), The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), The Belize National Indigenous Council (BENIC) and District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO).The participating at risk youth communities/groups will be selected to represent urban, rural, and Indigenous communities in Belize in an effort to combat delinquency, youth gangs, and serious violent, and chronic juvenile offenders. The initiative will be implemented in specified target areas or to specified target groups in most of the communities identified by the collaborating actors mentioned above.
Does your proposal have a business model (i.e. strategy to generate revenue)? Please describe
The project goal is to reduce poverty and crime, provide training to unemployed or underemployed youths, and raise awareness on positive and sustainable livelihood through luuch and coconut shell based products in Belize. The major impact of the training is to provide groups of at risk youths with skills that they will then implement for income generating activities and support activities. The training will enhance their capacities to earn income and escape poverty and gain economic and even social emancipation. As they start to earn income by selling their own handcrafts they will be proud of their hard work, dedication and patience thus enhancing their self-esteem. This will present an option about how to change the public discourse about young people at risk and will too capitalize on Belizes population strengths and potentials. Ich Kool Chan Luuch-Coco plans to get seed capital for the workshop through donations or grants. One goal of Ich Kool Chan Luuch-Coco is the plan to also sell some of the handicraft goods made during the workshop sessions to raise money so that the project becomes sustainable and be able to cover the costs of operation for continued expansion of the project for additional workshop sessions to support and provide skill training opportunities to more at risk youth communities within Belize thus expanding the impact of the project.
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Hi Yahaira, my name is Melissa. I am glad to read your proposal and your interest in contributing from your knowledge to the benefit of Belize. You have an excellent idea, and I think it has a lot of potentials. I leave here some questions and comments. I consider that the programs and workshops to strengthen the capacities of young people are fundamental for the development of a country, in this case, what you propose is of great value. However, I consider that you should think more about a business model that allows you to be sustainable and continue to expand the impact of your project. Have you thought about selling coconut products? To whom to sell them? Where to sell them? What strategy to use to sell them? At what price? Remember that you have until January 12th to make changes to the platform, before the call is closed.
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1 year ago
Thank you very much for those guiding points. I appreciate it and i do hope and pray to be successful for the empowerment of our Belizean Youth
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1 year ago

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